So much going on! This weekend I was able to present at Ignite Phoenix 14 on the topic “Parenting A Mentally Ill Child.” Ignite events are held all over the country and have become increasingly popular. Anyone can apply to be a speaker on a topic they are passionate about, but they only choose eighteen. The catch is you only have five minutes to speak, so your message needs to be focused and powerful.
There were a few reasons this event was so important for me. First, as many of you know, I have been a speaker for years on social media and mobile technology, but this was the first time God gave me a platform to speak on something from my personal life. I feel like it is God’s true calling on my life, with my big dream being to speak to women encouraging them in their faith, regardless of circumstances.
The second reason I was excited to speak at this event was because it is so far reaching. It was a sold out event, filling 850 seats plus it streams live to many more. After the show, they post everything on YouTube, which also get a lot of views. I felt like my message could really get out there. Don’t worry…I will be posting it here as soon as it is up on YouTube. (UPDATE: It’s already been posted. I’ve included it at the bottom of this post.)
The night of the event went really well. We had some crazy and funny topics being presented such as Chicken Personality Disorder and OMG Fighting Back Against Hyperbole. I was near the end of the event with one of the more serious topics. As much as I love to make an audience laugh, my topic was the one that made them cry.
After the event I had the privilege of meeting other families who have faced similar struggles. It’s encouraging to speak on a topic that seems to be “taboo” in our culture and yet find so many people that either relate or who are filled with compassion and an eagerness to help.
I also want to update you all on how Jerilyn is doing in Texas. Fabulous! She got to use the Rope Course last week and, of course, impressed everyone with her ability to climb absolutely anything. Most days I talk to her she sounds stable and she really enjoys the school there. She is still having her ups and downs and hasn’t been able to hold on to a roommate, usually because she ends up getting upset at them. I know she still isn’t participating in group therapy sessions either. However, she is doing better overall, which is the goal. Baby steps, baby steps. Thank you again for all your prayers.
I want to end this post the same way I ended my speech: “Let’s stop the silence. Let’s start talking about mental illness. My daughter needs this conversation to start. Don’t let it end here.”